Strong display of traditional characters

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


As J’Ouvert revellers made their way home, traditional Carnival characters took to the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Monday.

From Midnight Robbers to the Cow Mas, many traditional characters graced the stage showing the art of costumes that form a part of the bedrock of TT’s Carnival and history of costuming.

Although scheduled to begin at 9 am, the display did not begin until 10 am.

It began with the playing of the National Anthem at 9.59 am and then the announcers apologised for the event’s late start.

The announcers also informed masqueraders and spectators this was simply a display and not the competition itself. The masqueraders were told they would have to return at 1 pm for the competition.


The display began with a group of four burrokeets crossing the stage. The announcers took the small audience in both the grand and north stands through the historical significance of the costumes.

The second on stage was the Claxton Bay Tamboo Bamboo group.

Of course, minstrels formed part of that traditional Carnival characters display. Jab Jabs, Paramin Blue Devils, single pan, fancy sailors, tassa, gorillas also crossed the stage at the savannah. There was a constant flow of characters with there being a visible increase in the numbers of traditional mas players in the bands.

The Simply Cultural minstrels accompanied by four dancers presented Well Ah Get a Tabanca.

The group sang about the covid19 pandemic and it taking away the thing they most loved: doubles.

“Not a single doubles out on the street, who ah think missing doubles would ah make me weep,” the group sang.

They said eating doubles was an “act of social integration.”

A band of Midnight Robbers, Global Malaise led by Anthony Collymore and designed by John Stollmeyer, used the platform and robber speech to voice their displeasure with having to return for competition at 1 pm.


Dame lorraines of all colours and differently-sized assets danced across the stage many opting for the popular Olatunji’s Engine Room.

Although it was not the competitive aspect of the display, of the songs eligible for Road March, Engine Room, Nailah Blackman and Skinny Fabulous’ Come Home and Bunji Garlin’s Hard Fete appeared to be the more popular choices then.

One Baby Doll character took the stage to express her displeasure with the father of her children.

Her children, Pfizer, Astrea Zeneca and Moderna were also looking for their daddies.

“I am a victim of circumstances. I hate men who like to sow seeds of destruction in the nation,” she said.

She, too, spoke about the effects of the pandemic on people and the country.

For the first time in a long time, a Cow Mas made an appearance at the savannah.

The Cow Mas comes out of the Cow Band “which dates back to the days of the Canboulay and consisted of a small group of men dressed in costumes of sacking made from rice bags,” the National Carnival Commission website says.

A young pierrot grenade showed the very appreciative, small audience how to spell Chicago and Japan.

This led the announcers to say that the continuation of the pierrot grenade was sure.

The display of the traditional Carnival characters ended at noon as the savannah and the country readied itself for the official start of parade of the bands.